Alessandro Penso, winner – $10,000

Birte Kaufmann, runner-up – $3,000

Kiana Hayeri, honorable mention





(in alphabetical order – out of a total of 1135 entries)
Laia Abril
Dominic Bracco II
Max Cabello Orcasitas
Marco Casino
Alejandro Cegarra
Stephen Dock
Ditte Haarlov Johnsen
Meeri Koutaniemi
Justin Maxon
Annalisa Natali Murri
Jordi Pizarro
Valerio Polici



The full essays of the winners and finalists will be published here on BURN over the next few days and weeks,
as well as the list of the shortlisted selection. Stay tuned!





(in alphabetical order)

Mauro Bedoni | Photo Editor, COLORS Magazine

Jim Estrin | Editor, New York Times LENS blog

Donna Ferrato | Photographer

Erik Vroons | Editor-in-Chief, GUP Magazine



Judge’s statement:


The amount of excellent work that we viewed made this an extremely difficult judging process.
Many entrants were worthy of recognition, but our job was to pick only a few.

Alessandro Penso brought new insight, and a sense of intimacy, to an important topic.
His story goes beyond what others have done on migration. The well composed images
reflect his commitment and the time that he has put into the story.

Birte Kaufmann gives us a look into the daily life of The Travelers,
an indigenous Irish nomadic group. The images are lyrical, yet also direct.
Her vision is pure and tender.  We hope this beautiful body of work will be developed further.

Kiana Hayeri was born in Iran but went to high school and college in Canada.
Her work has focused on  Iranians both in her home country and her adopted one.
She goes well past the stereotypical representations of Iran and brings us both an insider and outsider perspective.



Previous EPF Winners


The 2008 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Sean Gallagher for his essay on the environmental Desertification of China.

The 2009 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Alejandro Chaskielberg for his 8×10 format essay on the Parana River Delta ‘The High Tide’.

The 2010 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Davide Monteleone for his essay ‘Northern Caucasus’.

The 2011 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Irina Werning for her essay ‘Back to the Future’.

In 2012 three Emerging Photographer Fund grants were awarded:
one major to Matt Lutton for his essay ‘Only Unity’ and
two minors to Giovanni Cocco for his essay ‘Monia’ and to Simona Ghizzoni for her essay ‘Afterdark’.

In 2013 four Emerging Photographer Fund grants were awarded:
one major to Diana Markosian for her essay ‘My Father The Stranger’ and
three minors to: Iveta Vaivode for her essay ‘Somewhere on Disappearing Path’,
Oksana Yushko for her essay ‘Balklava: The Lost History’ and
Maciej Pisuk for his essay ‘Under The Skin; Photographs From Brzeska Street’.



Editor’s note:


I cannot express my thanks enough to Donna, Jim, Erik and Mauro.
This very fine EPF jury worked collectively so hard and so thoroughly to finely tune their choices…
They thought this through very carefully from every angle to award this grant to the photographers most deserving.
Of course once it gets down to the finalists, the choices become extremely difficult. This is where they really went to work.
Lots of back and forth discussion and yet consensus reached.


Burn Magazine revolves around the EPF. Our most important curatorial contribution
to the oftentimes chaotic landscape of photography today. By choosing a jury whose lifetimes have been spent in looking
at photographs and making photographs, we try to give our Burn readers a distilled version of the best work of all that
flows before their eyes everyday.


Most importantly our mission is to give recognition to the finest emerging authors out there and to provide some funding to at least
a few to keep going and to continue making a mark. Our previous winners prove this is not in vain.


Many thanks especially to my EPF Burn team of Anton Kusters, Diego Orlando, and Kaya Berne.
First off , they must deal with me!! Never easy. In all seriousness, they all show amazing dedication to the spirit of
doing something which just feels good. To provide a platform for the up and coming.


Special thanks to Susan Meiselas of the Magnum Foundation. Nobody on the planet is more dedicated to allowing new talent to develop.



The Emerging Photographer Fund was created and is directed by David Alan Harvey,
and curated by Anton Kusters & Diego Orlando, with Kaya Lee Berne.




32 thoughts on “EPF 2014 – the winners”

  1. Congratulations Alessandro Penso. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future!
    And a big congrats as well to Birte Kaufmann and Kiana Hayeri.

    Great job BURN TEAM!

  2. Very good choice.
    Congratulations to the winners and the photographers from the short list.
    I am looking forward to seeing all the essays in full length.
    Thanks to everyone involved. Without you, we would not see these great essays.

  3. So this year its all solid Photojournalism. certainly with a contemporary vision but nonetheless quite traditional in its treatment and palette. What bugs me is that I see not image one that knocks me back, make me go WOW! Good work, worthy work and interesting stories being told no doubt, but not (at least for me) one iconic frame. If I had to come up with a word it would probably be ‘Conservative’: I wonder that is reflective of the The entrie, The Judges….. or my expectations.

  4. a civilian-mass audience

    What not to LOVE…!!!

    Thank you BURN… 1135?…oime !

    keep shooting MY BURNIANS,I love you ALLLLLL

  5. Peter David Grant

    Congratulations to the winners.

    I look forward to studying the essays in full when they are published. Thanks to the judges for making selections and everyone else involved.

  6. I look forward to seeing the essays in full too. A slideshow of a few selected images on the web is never ideal. Having re-watched it many times now I am more drawn to some of the traveller images.
    As always, whatever the opinions or praises of commentators here, this award and the work done by David and the team is a fantastic thing and a very valuable asset for photography and photographers.

  7. Congratulations to the winners!
    I liked specially the Birte Kaufmann work.
    Looking forward to see the full and rest of the essays.
    Thanks and congrats also to all the Burn team for their work.


  8. Congratulations to all the winners. A big shift in tone from last year’s more personal esoteric, winning themes to, as John notes, photojournalistic themes – as reflects the expertise and perspectives of the different judge panels. I enjoyed the preview, got something new out of each one and of the three would probably have chosen the Travelers, although the migration series is one powerful piece that definitely gave me some new insights into the issue. I look forward to seeing each essay in its entirety – as well as all the finalists, short and long.


    we try to vary the jury panels each year…this year did swing totally into the photojournalism genre…you can always see the jury in the results for sure….and then there is always the factor of who entered…..as Frostfrog points out, last year was a more esoteric approach to work….as you know, i tend to lean personally in the direction of esoteric, and yet at the same time i think it wise and prudent to celebrate the small not on TV journalistic essays that simply are not at the top of the nightly news….all three essays fit into this category….

    it seems the jury chose the essay of most editorial importance in their view….Alessandro is a very serious young photographer who is also trying to aid the immigrants who come to the shores of Greece, and for sure this is a problem of great social significance….i too loved the imagery of The Travelers essay….i suspect this is not the last we will see from Birte…..Kiana’s career is just beginning…she will make a mark in the future i am sure….

    for sure you may see something in the finalists essays which may pique your interest more than the winners…this of course happens every year as well….it is the totality of it all that we want to recognise….the long term track record of finalists ends up being as impressive as the grant recipients….both Bieke Deeporter and Sohrab Hura subsequently joined Magnum as nominees and both were finalists, but not first place winners…..so in my view , all of the recipients and finalists are pretty much equal…i would not want to have to make this decision!!

    always great to have your comments here John….many thanks…..

    oh yes, almost forgot…i will be in London in December…..time for a cold beer?

    cheers, david

  10. AKAKY

    pretty funny…and not a bad idea either….personally i am going for the worst dressed award….always wanted that one!! Snickers dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

  11. Congratulations to the winner and finalists. I like the different essays in their totality but I also miss in general a couple of eyeball kick images. But I’m sure the images will grow on me.

  12. David…
    Didn’t you come second in some photography competition? I remember reading this on RoadTrips and how Allard complained you should of been the worthy winner… Strange how winning isn’t always the best career option….

  13. I think winning the EPF is more than a mere accolade….there is a nice cash prize attached to it.
    This could mean all the difference in allowing the photographer to continue what they are working on without interruptions….who wouldn’t like that?
    No need to bust your ass during summer painting houses (like Aaron Huey) to save up for your next trip over the pond and continue your work. There is a lot of good things about busting your ass for what you believe….builds character, makes you stronger, makes you a better person but any monetary help sure is a big bonus!

  14. Congratulations to the winners (and to all the ones who took part).
    Serious works from Alessandro and Kiana, personally I like very much the travelers story which let me travel in the time…just my taste! Bravi everybody!

  15. PAUL

    yes that’s correct.. I was 2nd place College Photogrpher of the Year. Johnny B. Jenkins was first place..
    Johnny was a super nice guy from
    Austin I think. Yet I never heard anything about him again after grad school. I wd love to see him


    on a personal note, I’m just so damn excited about Kiana’s award :))….i met her at projection when Don Weber and I had a chance to talk about her work (she was a student) and edit/provide her feedback…and its been a joy to see her grow and mature and really work stories that are not only against the cliche of journalism but highlight a world and story that is all to missing when it comes to Iran…She is a fine young photographer and a great great young woman…a finer person you would be hard pressed to meet :)…and she’s a joy to chat with at a picnic in a part :)

    so so happy :)


  17. that should be talk with at a picnic in a park :)…

    congrats to all the winners

    and also so happy to see the list of runner ups: a list that contains a number of photographers whose work i respect, admire and cherish!


    (sorry for the short comment, no time to write much online last 6 months)…i celebrate you all!

  18. tonyhayesimages

    Congrats to all. Looking forward to seeing the essays ‘full length’. Thanks to David and the team for making all this possible.


  19. 1-1-3-5!! Geez. Congrats to Alessandro! and for every runner up. Being there in the final élite is a huge award!!

    Waiting to see every essay in next couple of days.


  20. Every essay so far has been an example of highly competent, very earnest photojournalism and I have no criticism of it to speak of. Were burn a photojournalism magazine, I wouldn’t have any problem with it at all, but although burn is a magazine that often feature photojournalism, it has never been strictly a photojournalism magazine. In addition to the old style, it’s always published a nice variety of more sophisticated pieces that contain such anti-earnest photojournalism touches as humor, irony and narrative sophistication. So I think it’s unfortunate that the EPF in general, and this year’s EPF in particular, fails to honor the spirit of what so may of us consider “burn.” Of course we can’t directly blame David and the other good folk at burn, as the awards are entirely left up to the guest judges. So personally, I’d like to see a more burn-like selection of judges. Howsabout next year you make it Imants, Wendy, Akaky, Frostfrog, Civi, Martin Parr and Bruce Davidson? Or some similar conglomeration of burn-type misfits. I’d really like to see a lot more ragged soul and a lot less technical perfection.

  21. A recent comment from Maggie Steber in Lens Blog:

    Maggie Steber
    Miami, Fl.

    A great example of how subjective the world of photography is. Just because one person doesn’t like your work doesn’t mean another won’t just love it. The person who disappoints you today might be the one who adores you tomorrow. As a lesson in persistence, I once went to see famed photo editor Robert Gilka at Nat. Geo. Magazine with a less-than-spectacular portfolio and he told me I would never work for the magazine. Years later, after having worked in Haiti for a few years, I went to show my work as it was developing to the then-Director of Photography Tom Kennedy. I returned 3 to 4 times over a period of time to show how the work progressed and one day the phone rang and I got my first assignment with Nat. Geo. that has continued on until now. A VERY IMPORTANT LESSON FOR ALL…sometimes you aren’t ready, sometimes the world isn’t ready. Just be persistent and recognize that we can always be better.

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